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Father Muench Says...

Renewing our baptismal promises


April 12, 2023

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Today let us talk about Easter. When we think about Easter, the first thing that comes to mind for me is my new life. Easter is about Resurrection, the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. Jesus was crucified and placed in the tomb. Then the tomb was found empty. Jesus Resurrected! The Resurrection of Jesus transformed all of us from the day of the Lord’s Resurrection until now. The Resurrection of Jesus, our Lord and Messiah, means Jesus lives and is always ready to be with us, to lead us on our road to holiness, as we discover new life that leads us on the road to sanctity.

Easter is all about baptism. Our Catholic Church makes it very clear to us that baptism is the most important of all the sacraments our faith celebrates. Our baptism challenges us to make a decision, a daily decision to follow Jesus, a decision to allow Jesus to transform each one of us to become disciples of Jesus. As the baptized, we must be ready to walk with Jesus and recognize that Jesus always wants to walk with us – everyone of us.

Now, we celebrate the Resurrection of Our Lord with the celebration of the Easter Vigil service. As part of this celebration, there is the baptizing of the adults who have made a decision this year to seek entrance into the Catholic Church, to be welcomed into the Church. They have found Jesus and found his Church. They want Jesus to be part of their lives. They want to be led by Jesus and to be transformed by the Lord so as to find new life through the Lord.

This Easter time is also the perfect time for each one of us to renew our own baptism, to again made a decision to choose to walk always with Jesus. This is the perfect time for us to seek again the grace of this powerful sacrament of baptism. In this way, we again seek new life to be disciples of the Lord so that we may follow the lead of the Lord Jesus, so that we recognize the needs of our family and our community. This is a time to renew our vocation, our call, our decision to find the way of new life through the Resurrection of our Lord.

In each and every Catholic Church throughout the world at the Easter Sunday Mass, all the baptized are challenged to renew the baptismal promises that are a part of every baptism. Each year at Easter time, it is our time to step up and renew these promises for ourselves, our time to rededicate ourselves to our Lord and Savior.

These baptismal promises are renewed during each Easter Mass – led by the priest celebrant, who then blesses all with the holy water. Water is the symbol of this sacrament of baptism. Water is poured over our heads to call down the Lord’s blessing upon us. At this time, water is the most precious substance on our planet.

At the Easter Mass, you be asked to consider the baptismal promises and respond to them. Today, I would like to share with you here a few different but similar promises. I believe that these promises would fill out those we consider at the Easter Mass. So, I would ask you to read these promises, even pray about them, and hopefully accept them.
•  Do you believe in God the Father, source of all light, and in his love for you?

•  Do you believe in Christ, the light of the world?

•  Do you believe that Christ has entrusted his light to us, and that he now depends on us to let the light of goodness shine in the world today?

•  Do you believe in the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, counseling us in times of sorrow, strengthening us in times of difficulty, and binding us together in the love of Christ?

•  Do you believe in the Church, the community of believers in the light, brothers and sisters in the Lord?

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